Originally published by F. Tennyson Neely in 1895.
Also published online by The Project Gutenberg
Title: The King in Yellow Author: Robert W. Chambers

Banner Artwork above by Shasta Lawton.
Illustration for THE PROPHET'S PARADISE by Eric York,
taken from the collection Carcosa Tenement Blues by Edward Morris

Friday, January 15, 2010

A NOTION CONCEIVED

By Vincent Daemon






What is “magick”? Is it superstition? Naivete? Lunacy? Laziness?

Does one want to believe that there truly is an unknown? Things that are always there, but we just can not see. Does it make an isolated or “quirky” human mind and psyche feel more at ease to think, and yes, believe that there is something greater than ourselves? That perhaps we can save ourselves the time, aggravation, or Christ forbid, any form of internal and external effort in order to sate our Id-most desires, in the most immediate and instantaneously destructive ways, here and now?

I’ll gladly pay my soul Tuesday for some pussy today...or money, fame, power, or any face-full of unnecessary diamond studded, narcissistic shit. Is magick a way toward higher, unearthly metaphysical knowledge, laced with all the quasiromantic, Faustian tapestries?

Perhaps it is no more than an easy way out. Ultimately, pure vision as though through the innocent child’s eyes of wonder and greatness, a tragically misguided waste of time, drawing negative to negative. Bad karma juju. Spiritual death.

Sex magick : wanton copulation for a “goal”.

Chaos magick : a reason to act out spiritually and preternaturally in the most irresponsible manner for the most irresponsible of causes–-usually vengeance.

Drug magick : a rationalization for getting high, for a “goal” of course, and as with the two previously mentioned magicks, almost always of a dubious intent.

These goals, it seems, primarily consist of self-centered, delusional tomfoolery. A “spiritually enlightened” reason to indulge in all the splendid wonders of earthly vice. Realistically, the hullabaloo and intensity of ritual does add to the experience of earthly pleasures, and also to an obligatory feeling of egotistical accomplishment, for all that effort of “pleasure”.

“Well, I felt great at the time, but now I want something in return.” Where exactly does it end? Does it end?

In my experience, it appears not. How long has it been since I thought these thoughts anyway? Years. Fucking years.

Yet these sudden intrusive thoughts harken immediately back to that strange physical/mental/emotional/spiritual disquiet. Thought-induced invocations; accidental. I know this to be true. There are no coincidences in this existence--or any other. Just looping, endless corridors of crossed stars and peaking valleys and missing puzzle pieces.

Even as I write this, a cat two stories down below my kitchen window yowls my name. Upon hearing the little beast, I peek my head out the window and see him down there, lonely little scrapper cat. There was an immediate dead stare contact of eyes and souls. In a wave of trans-species, empathic reactive communication, I feel his pain, his loneliness. He's hungry and tired and misses the place that once felt like home. I can tell he is a newly abandoned house cat. Too well fed, affectionately groomed, and attention-starved not to be. Each one of his increasingly pathetic whines tears even more so into my gut, only serving to further the oppressive ambience occurring within my own mind and soul. Another defecation in my inner sanctum.

Still, though, that particular intrusive thought invades. It presents itself almost as the eternal Shakespearian question : “To Be Or Not To Be?” This guilt simmers in the black liquid morass of self effacement, eating its own tail like that cunting snake Oroboro, stuck in its self imposed cycle of heatstroke, seared in the blistering light of complete personal debasement.

This thought yet unspoken...am I a monster to have it, to hold it, and ruminate long and deathly serious about it? Am I a monster, to be as embracing as I am terrified, of these “old friends”? Call them demons, ghosts, shadows, the Other, and They...coming and going as they have always pleased.

This life so far has been wretched. Every honest attempt at love, art, family, work, stability: crushed under their iron rule of defeatism, insecurity, debasement and degradation. A stubborn self-will and increasingly bad judgement calls, self actualization as well as self destruction, thwarted always by my own impractical hands.

Those things I speak so ill of, I want them, too. One can only travel the same course that leads to hope, that leads to expectation, that invariably leads to the inevitability of disappointment for so long.

These “friends” that so incessantly haunt the most shadowy recesses of my mind make haughty claims and promises without uttering so much as a squeak. The promises are delivered through the unlocked and unbarred wide open doors of irrationality that will never close. The doors themselves have long ago melted away, disintegrated under the boiling acid keys that opened them. What the hell is 25 by 25, anyway?

Nevertheless, they come and go of their own rotten will. Really, it is quite easy to invoke them into mind. They practically do it themselves, when awareness and conditions are fertile and unsullied. However, invocation into our material plane of matter and molecules is another cause celebre altogether.

What I have learned, is that elaborate ritual involving sex and drugs and daggers and chalices and costuming, that whole hocus-pocus aspect, is all for show. Shits ‘n’ giggles. The Aleister Crowley Fantasy Land Escapism Happy Hour.

No, it only takes concentration. Deep, cathartic, near catatonic concentration. They can be thought here if one's body/mind/soul can work together and synchronize themselves into that one, concentrated energy. And if one can do that, well...

Unfortunately, I can. They beg me to right now, at this late (early?) hour, and the paradigm here is so much more than moral. Seriously, though, how can one toil for years upon endless wasted years, and be not noticed, still have to kill themselves and suffer (be it for demons, bosses, or lovers), like those brain dead automatons addicted to schedules and battered dreams--and loveless marriages and cold, soulless lives. So empty.

It has indeed been a hateful, remorseless, chaffed-handed, icy cold, sunburnt life.

The way it is being explained to me at present seems quite simple. They tell me a deal can be made and I won’t have to suffer any longer. My wife will suffer. As will my unborn child. It’s all the deal makers want. Nothing more, nothing less.

My skin grows cold and my stomach more sour still, but my body is too exhausted to act upon the nausea once more. Still, they dance in their shadows from the corners of my eyes, but I don’t look at them. Instead I am looking at her. She sleeps so deep, so peaceful, as I am sure the little girl inside her womb is, as well. She is so proud to be carrying, so flush with that radiance of newly discovered motherhood. There is just the sweetest little smile on her face, as she dreams the dream of the expectant mother.

That’s all they want, a simple exchange. Hell, they tell me she won’t have any physical repercussions, but mental...emotional...spiritual? She’ll be plum loco. I wonder though, about her. When the house and cars and jewelry and cash begin to settle into place, and the guilt-ridden mind, too proud and cowardly to check out in one fell swoop (or so dumbly numb that it expects the pain and doesn’t know any better), succumbs to the inevitable implosion of “fun”--chemicals, liquor, orgies, and more bad behavior--what then? When it all comes crashing in on crimson fetal waves, would she still be a basket case? Or would her already manipulative and questionable natural tendencies forget about the poor baby girl minutes after she was gone?

I hate these thoughts. They make me sick, a ceaseless, queasy feeling of conflict and guilt. Like I am indeed a goddamned monster. But the never ending struggle over every little thing has got to come to a bloody head and just end already. It has gone on for far too long. It is time now, I believe, to make a decision, and reclaim the night.

I am sorry, love, but you’ll be okay, eventually. As a matter of fact, you won’t even know. You will think it was your own body rebelling against you, as it does so often anyway. But I know you, and you will stop caring, perhaps forget the little unwanted bitch once the cash comes rolling in, the material goods that obsess your mind like the loveless fucking that initiated this nightmare to begin with. You are lucky enough to be that kind of cold. I am not.

I can only do what is right.

The deal has been struck, and the shadows have fallen silent again.

And it just feels right.







~ ~ ~












Stay tuned Monday, January 18
for the continued adventures
of Xu, the demon slayer
in David Agranoff's
Wuxia-pan horror/fantasy
THE FALLEN GUARDIAN'S MANDATE
serialized in daily installments
weekdays, only on the
Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction

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Archive of Stories
and Authors

Adam Bolivar's
SERVITORS OF THE
OUTER DARKNESS

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WYRM'S BLOOD


Adam Bolivar's
THE DEVIL CAME
TO BOSTON



Adam Bolivar's
THE DREAM KEY


Adam Bolivar's
THE WHITE CUP


Adam Bolivar's
THE FOX AND THE THORN


Adam Bolivar's
THE TIME-EATER


Adam Bolivar is an expatriate Bostonian
who has lived in New Orleans and Berkeley,
and currently resides in Portland, Oregon
with his beloved wife and fluffy gray cat
Dahlia. Adam wears round, antique glasses
and has a fondness for hats. His greatest
inspirations include H.P. Lovecraft,
Jack tales and coffee.


Keith Graham's
MIZUKI


Keith Graham's
EVERYTHING BUT
THE OINK



Keith Graham's
FAREWELL TOUR


Keith Graham is a computer programmer,
blues harp player, fellow beekeeper, and
speculative fiction writer. He currently
maintains 45 active websites. He has
published more than 50 stories over
the last six years in venues such as
others. Underground rock music
played an integral part in the early
days of cyberpunk, and The Freezine
of Fantasy and Science Fiction is
excited to have Keith onboard, and
grateful to showcase the premiere
of his passionate story of rock'n'roll
redemption.


John Claude Smith's
BLOOD ECHO SYMPHONIES


John Claude Smith's
NOT BREATHING



John Claude Smith writes weird fiction,
something between Horror and Magic
Realism, most of it psychologically driven.
He's had over 40 tales and over 1100 music
reviews, interviews, and profiles published.
He is currently shopping two novels and
a collection to agents and publishers, all
while starting the third novel. Gotta keep
on keepin' on! Looking forward to Rome
in the not too distant future, but for now,
just looking for the next short story to
be written.


David Agranoff's
A PLANET OF YOUR OWN


David Agranoff's
THE FALLEN GUARDIAN'S MANDATE


David Agranoff is the author of the
short story collection Screams From
A Dying World, just published by
Afterbirth Books. David is a hardcore
vegan and tireless environmentalist.
His contributions to the punk horror
scene and the planet in general have
already established him as a bright
new writer and activist to watch out
for. The Freezine of Fantasy and
Science Fiction welcomes him and
his defiant vision open-heartedly.

David is a busy man, usually at work
on several different novels or projects
at once. He is sure to leave his mark on
a world teetering over the edge of
ecological imbalance. David's latest
books include the Wuxia -Pan
(martial arts fantasy) horror
novel called Hunting The Moon Tribe,
already out from Afterbirth Books.;
The Vegan Revolution...with Zombies,
[Deadite Press, 2010]; and
[Deadite Press, 2014]

Daniel José Older's
GRAVEYARD WALTZ


Daniel José Older's
THE COLLECTOR


Daniel José Older's spiritually driven,
urban storytelling takes root at the
crossroads of myth and history.
With sardonic, uplifting and often
hilarious prose, Older draws from
his work as an overnight 911 paramedic,
a teaching artist & an antiracist/antisexist
organizer to weave fast-moving, emotionally
engaging plots that speak whispers and
shouts about power and privilege in
modern day New York City. His work
has appeared in the Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction, The ShadowCast
the collection Sunshine/Noir, and is
featured in Sheree Renee Thomas'
Black Pot Mojo Reading Series in Harlem.

When he's not writing, teaching or
riding around in an ambulance,
Daniel can be found performing with
his Brooklyn-based soul quartet
Ghost Star. His blog about the
ridiculous and disturbing world
of EMS can be found HERE.